Cold War over, but vigilance still necessary

Source:Global Times Published: 2012-8-24 0:25:03

The Cold War era is long over, but the cold war mentality hasn't disappeared. Scholars in both China and the US often accuse the other country of having a cold war mentality. Others think the concept is outdated.

The US and Soviet camps confronted each other militarily, ideologically, and economically during the Cold War. With the end of the conflict, the political foundations for the confrontation disappeared.

But the competition between countries didn't end with it. While Cold War memories still linger, there are real worries that a new cold war may break out between China and the US. Many countries feel the urge to strengthen their efforts to secure national interests in a changing global strategic grid. Mistrust is expanding among major powers and in many regions.

As the world's largest power, the US has the greediest pursuit of security. It often guards against other countries in an aggressive way, including adopting policies of containment. This is the real reason that post-Cold War global politics haven't settled down strategically.

The history of the Cold War may not be repeated between China and the US. But tensions or confrontation may not be completely avoided between Beijing and Washington.

There is a theory that if China and the US see each other as enemies, they may become so. This kind of thinking adds to China's strategic dilemma.

China has to stay alert. This is the bottom line of securing its safety. This should also be the bottom line as Chinese society judges and assesses the world security situation. It will only jeopardize itself if it unilaterally abandons this principle.

Have the US and the West gone too far in guarding against China and formed a kind of military and political containment of China? There are clear signs that suggest so. The actions may not be a result of deep deliberation, but rather natural reaction to China's rise. And such a reaction is shared by both the officials and the public in the West, complementing each other.

A few people among the Chinese elites are advocating universal interests. These idealistic slogans, ignorant of world realities, can only delude the Chinese public.

China's guarding against the West is defensive, to protect its rights of peaceful development. This is a minimum level of vigilance. If the West cannot even accept this and intensifies containment against China, the consequences have to be shared by both sides, or the entire world.

Mistrust between countries remains stubborn. China has to stick to realistic thinking and restrained behavior.

Posted in: Editorial

blog comments powered by Disqus